Another Finished Chapter

It’s the last day of 2019, something I feel very happy about. The year has been a nightmare, but it also marks the end of a decade.

As I am trying to be a little kinder to myself, and my mental wellbeing, I find the idea of starting anew quite refreshing. Mentally it allows me to shut off to everything that happened before, and focus on something new. Or it is supposed to anyway. But like the numerous notebooks I buy, start using, and don’t finish, sometimes the efforts are in vain.

I lost some family this year, and the pain is still here. It doesn’t feel right going into a new year without them. It feels a little like stepping into the future is also stepping away from them. It sounds silly, but it’s a thought that does run though my head.

There have also been good bits this year. Travelled to both Italy and Cyprus, both countries I had never visited before. I did other adventures in Scotland, with some amazing people. I continued working on liking myself and how to manage my mental health.

It’s been a rollercoaster, but 2019 is done. ✅

Merry Christmas

It’s the one day of the year, where everyone gets to spend time with their loved ones. It is maybe family, it’s maybe friends, it’s maybe even someone you haven’t met in real life. Some people just prefer to get absorbed in something they love, like a book, TV show, or computer game.

It doesn’t really matter what you do. As long as you try and benefit from that one time of the year where everything slows down. Where shops close, TV channels play limitless movies, and there seems to be food everywhere. It is nice to take time out of the everyday life, which can easily get on top of a person.

I hope that everyone reading this, has the chance to spend the festive period surrounded by love, however you find it.

Know Yourself

Every day, things happen that push your personal boundaries. It doesn’t have to be anything too different from ‘the norm’ for you to feel any strain from the situation. Not for me anyway. I can find pressure in situations that are completely calm and contain no pressure. I think it is the way that my brain is wired.

I have problems with anxiety, which I have discussed before, and sometimes situations can make me on edge. Today, for example, I was the ‘designated driver’. It wasn’t anything specific that made that choice, went into town with the family, and it was my car we took. Which is fine. But there it was Highland Games day in Burntisland, so I drove down there, family in tow, to have a wee walk around. We ended up in the pub, and as the driver, I obviously couldn’t drink. Which is fine, I don’t have to drink all the time. But, the pubs were heaving. It was really warm, and room temperature diet coke wasn’t really helping. People kept bashing against me, and it was making me really anxious. People we knew came in, and it didn’t really help. I was needing some fresh air away from the crowds, I could myself starting to panic.

My family, being who they are, were like ‘We’ll come too’. So everyone went outside, and it was okay. We drove home, and I had no panic attack. But, then the rest of the family wanted to go to the pub back in the town that we live. I had to say that I wasn’t going to go. When my nerves have already been on edge, I know that it is probably not a good idea to drink alcohol. After all, there is a high chance that the anxiety I had experienced earlier would return.

I think it is important to go with what you feel is right. Don’t feel like you should do a particular thing if you don’t want to. Use your previous experiences when going forward. I know that if I have panic attacks, alcohol can affect the negative thinking that causes them. So, to be safe, it is always a good idea to stay away from it. And, I think that is a good idea for anyone who has mental health problems, to be aware of possible triggers and problems.

T’was The Season

Christmas time is a great time of the year. It is that one time of the year, where people can spend time with their loved ones, and where thanks is given to those who support us. It is still the one period of the year, where everyone get’s some time off work. It is nice to see that a lot of non-essential businesses closed, as everyone needs a time to cool down and relax.

The only problem is, that I started planning for Christmas months in advance, usually by making lists for what I want to gift people, but I don’t actually do anything about it till the last minute. Once again, I ended up running around town on Christmas Eve, getting presents and the like. Because I know what I am getting people, it is fairly easy to get in the shops I need to, and then leave.I find it best, as that way I don’t have to deal with too bad crowds, as I am ready for home before midday.

Christmas day is classed as that one day where I eat too much, and watch rubbish on TV, and this year was no exception. When you work hard all year, it is nice to just kick back with family. And to me, that is what the period is about. Yes, presents are nice, but it’s about showing your thanks and chilling out.

You will notice, that ‘blogmas’ fell apart pretty quick, as expected. But December is the one month where time seems to just disappear. One day it was the start of the month, and it felt like it was Christmas day within a blink of an eye. Which is scary. They say that time going fast is a sign of getting older, which I am not particularly keen to think about.

But in a few days, we say goodbye to 2017, and start afresh with 2018. And I feel genuine excitement.

Another Year Older

Birthdays used to be fun. They used to mean parties, being spoilt rotten, and the promise of getting older. When you are little, it feels like the world has all these possibilities, that you need to get older to do. It was exciting, it was fun.

Now, in my 30s, that is no longer the case. In fact, my last few birthdays have included time where I have sat on the floor and cried my eyes out. Feeling like I have wasted another year, and that I am never progressing in anything other than age. It always puts a downer on stuff.

I guess a lot of the feelings around birthdays come from others. It is an automatic reaction to look at those around you, and assess how they are doing compared to you. And, well, I have always assumed everyone is much further ahead than me, especially as I’ve got older. Folk are having kids and getting married, and I am not anywhere related to that. Any progress I do make, is slower than a bloody snail. For example, passed my driving test last year, still don’t have a car.

Things are different this year. Though it might not appear so. I am working hard to be better. I am making progress, which is better than none. Babies, moving house, getting a dog, new job, it doesn’t matter what progress is, as long as you move forward, you doing okay. Which is why I am trying to stop comparing my life to others. Yes, most of my friends actually have a career, or a house, or a partner, but they don’t equal anything other than personal growth. And people grow at different speeds.

Or that’s what I am trying to convince myself anyways. Here’s to being 33. Let’s improve on last year.

Blue Monday?

It’s supposed to be the most depressing day of the year today. I don’t really understand the idea of dubbing a random day ‘the most depressing’.

I have been reading a lot about mindfulness and how most of what we feel is based on perceptions. So we assume things will be bad, because of the angle we are looking at it. I feel that is what happens when someone tells you a day is supposed to be depressing. You get into that mindset, and there is no getting away from it.

I’ll give you an example. I have been wanting a car, since I passed my driving test in November. I have now been 2 months since I passed my test, and because I haven’t been at a driving wheel since I had a melt down. Now, since I passed, I made the choice that I’d wait till I saved up money, and get the right car. But I made the mistake of reading all these negative articles about ‘Blue Monday’ as I ate my cereal this morning. Because I have so many issues with my mental health, I always think I am prone to these periods where depression runs high.

I was going to get a lift to the gym this morning, but my sister was taking her time, and a bus was due. So me being me, I left and went for the bus. All good so far. But then I started thinking about how at 18 she was offered to share a car with my dad. My brother was that age when he was gifted a car. And i couldn’t even get someone to come and look at cars with me. I started freaking out. What if I forget how to drive? What if I get in a car and freak out? What if I am never able to get a car? I got so worked up, I was sobbing at the back of the bus.

I stayed on the bus, despite just wanting to go home, and went to the gym as planned. I then sweated all the negativity out of my system, and I now feel better.

I feel I got so upset by reading all these articles about how people more successful than me felt low today. I mean, the whole idea of Blue Monday, is because people are waiting for the first payday after Christmas. That doesn’t apply to me, as I get paid weekly, but it didn’t stop the bad feeling. And I think by digesting all this writing about why I should be sad, I over-reacted to something completely different.

I have been reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, and it is a book about changing your mindset. Putting trust in the universe and stop worrying about a future that hasn’t happened yet. The book tries to explain that by thinking in ‘love’ rather than ‘fear’, we can transform our lives. It sounds really silly, but this is revolutionary to me. It got me thinking how negativity does effect my day, and my life. I am trying to do the lessons that are in the books, but it is hard. Like everything, new habits need to be formed to make a difference.

Maybe the first habit I need to break from, is sensationalist articles on social media, trying to tell me how I should feel. Focus on the feel-good. Try a bit of positive mental attitude.

Meaning of My Christmas

It’s the week of Christmas. That time of the year which is filled with good feelings, twinkly lights and gifts for those who mean the most to you. It is a period which has always made me happy. As a child, that may have been mostly because of presents, but that has changed as I have got older. The festive period has become more about taking time away from work, spending time with family and meeting with friends we maybe don’t see as much as we should.


The meaning of Christmas, is supposed to be focused on the Nativity. Something that I liked as a child, when I attended Sunday School. The best thing about Sunday School at Christmas, was that I got a book as a gift. I loved books, and books as presents was right up my alley. I don’t have any particular negative feelings about my experience with the Church. In fact, I did crafts every week and read stories, it was perfect for me. But, then I got a little older, and decided that I wanted to go horse riding every Sunday morning instead. And, that was the start of me finding out my own mind.

When at Sunday School, we were always told that we could pray, if we had problems. Unfortunately, the problems of the stereotypical teenager came into play, and praying didn’t help. It was this idea, that the answers would be given to us if we prayed. It isn’t really that simple, and all it did was confuse my already confused brain, more. So I tried to find another way to help ease my tensions, which involved writing things down, drawing or reading a few chapters of a book. I picked up hobbies, that really helped. And, as I started to learn and experience new things, I kind of stopped trusting in an ‘ultimate power’. Nothing bad about people who do believe, but I just couldn’t get past what I thought.

Why do I still celebrate Christmas?

Well, I still like the stories, they are stories from my childhood that still make me smile. I like the idea that a couple struggling for shelter, would get help from a complete stranger. It doesn’t really seem to happen in life, but people can be good to each other. But life has taught me, that good behaviour isn’t exclusive to a religion. I like the festive time because it is a time I get to spend with my family. It is the one time of the year, where we are allowed a little ‘down time’, and appreciate what we have. No work, just a lazy day at home with my family, where we do very little. I get to buy presents for people, and whilst it seems awful capitalist, I feel like gifts help show people I appreciate them. They are a ‘thank you’.

We do not get a lot of opportunity to shut off from the world, and it is nice to have the opportunity to do so.

Appologies as this has become more of a ramble than I intended. But a lot of people, don’t understand that people can enjoy Christmas, without being overly religious. It is my personal thoughts, and I don’t intend to offend anyone. If you celebrate a religious holiday during this festive period, I hope you have the best time. Everyone has to believe in something to get them through life. I just prefer to believe in the goodness of people. Happy Holidays.

To Share Or Not To Share

I really haven’t had much to say, which I haven’t posted in almost a month. Well there are things that are in my head, but no anything I particularly want to voice on the internet in a public way. In fact I just haven’t mentioned things at all. This sounds a little bit strange, especially coming from someone who uses blogging and the internet to work out their frustrations, but it is true. What it has done, is make sections of the internet, completely separate from what has been going on offline.

And I think that it is important, knowing where to draw the line with posting personal things online. Like, I have always used the internet to vent, to let out those annoying wee things that grate on me. But, I will not go into discussing a bad situation where someone else is involved. It could be to do with family or friends, but it is for me to share something, that whilst personal to me, is also personal to them. I mean, if other people are like me, my parent’s have me on facebook. The last thing I would need is someone talking about a personal situation that had me tagged, and that my parents could read, especially as it may be something that I didn’t want to share with them.

But, that is one of the best things about the internet. You can decide what you share. You might might be obnoxious and funny, but through Facebook you are simply funny, due to not sharing absolutely everything about yourself. It can be dangerous too, as you may never truly know someone you are friends with online. You can only virtually know whatever side of their personality, a person is willing to share.

When I write things on my social media accounts, sometimes I feel bad for the people who follow me. Because I can get so wound up and angsty, and they may never know why. I’ll just post those annoyingly vague updates about ‘some people are dicks’, and leave it like that. I know it is annoying, but sometimes, my anxiety gets me worked up over nothing and I need to vent. That is why there are sometimes no specifics about a situation, just that I am feeling crap, going to buy a cat and live in solitary confinement for the rest of my life.

I have been training myself to kind of push past any feelings of anxiety. Like, to allow myself to cry my eyes out over what ever non-event I am panicking irrationally over, but then when calm afterwards, pick up a book or listen to music. I do things that make me feel better. And then I can try and get things done (sometimes successful, sometimes not). These actions maybe don’t sound like something that require training, but it did. For years I would have a panic attack, and dwell on the cause for days. Causing more panic attacks, and a general feeling of complete loss. I have spent 2016 teaching myself how to power through the tears and the struggling to breathe. And whilst I still have A LOT of anxiety problems, it is a lot rarer these days, that I will lose a complete weekend to endless panicking over everything.

If I post every little panic attack I have, I think I would have no friends left. Even less, if they knew what I had panicked over. So sometimes, it is good not to share everything. But because I have had a bad few weeks, I decided it was best to just not share anything. Because as much as my new coping methods help me, I was going round in circles, and couldn’t even think straight to write properly. But, hey, I am posting. Progress is progress.

Feeling Festive

It is that time of the year where we celebrate Christmas. Shops are busy, twinkly lights are everywhere, and everything just feels rather happy. Which is always nice.
But what does Christmas mean to me? 
I’m not particularly religious, although I grew up with Sunday Schools and the annual nativity. This causes issues with a few folk I know, why celebrate Christmas when you don’t follow the bible. Well, considering it is believed that Jesus was born in spring and not December 25th, that mutes that point. It appears that Christianity adopted the winter date because of a popular Pagan celebration, which was put in place by the Romans.
Not that it matters.
Christmas to me is about family. It is a celebration before the start of a new year, where we can show those around us, we are thinking of them. And that’s it. 
Obviously other people hold other meanings in the holiday, and that’s fine. Everyone is allowed to find a meaning that matters to them in anything. And that fact shouldn’t matter to anyone else. Let everyone celebrate moments that mean something to them, cause life is to short not to.

Bullies Never Prosper

Everyone encounters someone who tries to beat them down. It is something that nobody should ever have to experience. That feeling that you are not worthy of any kind of affection because you have no self-confidence left. The feeling when you don’t want to go to work, school or even home, because you are so scared of what could happen. The worst part is, that most people that you speak to, have had a problem with a bully at some point.

I had some issues when I was at school. Petty name calling and being made fun of. Being short and on the tubby side, I was an easy target. Most of the people who tried to pick on me weren’t people I wanted to be friends with, so I just ignored them. It seemed so much easier to do back when I was younger. As I became a teenager in High School, the words became more hurtful. I never figured out if it was really the words that changed, or just that they were chipping away at me, without me really knowing. 

Many stories you hear of bullying, give you the impresson that things get better once you leave school. It didn’t for me. By the end of High School I had lost a lot of my self-confidence and I became a lot quieter. I started hating myself because I was fat and couldn’t seem to do anything to lose it. Not that I had the energy to try. Besides, when people saw me out running or walking, some would shout names. Names that hurt me. Names that made me want to sit at home and gorge on food. And it made me hate myself more.

I wish that I could say that a lot has changed over the years. Most of the people that made me hate myself have been cut out of my life now. I say most because some people I can’t cut out. Some people are a part of my life, whether I want them to be or not. Where I get demeaned for the smallest thing, but am still expected to act as if I owe them something. And that is hard. How can you move past something when you don’t get the time and distance to heal? So I continue to suck it up. Unable to move past the belief that I have recovered all this abuse because I am a bad person. 

And that’s what bullying does. It skews everything that you thought you knew. And despite never doing anything wrong, you blame yourself because of the actions of others. And the funniest thing is that the bullies never see the damage they cause. They will never see the self-hatred that was started by their ‘petty taunts’. But that’s why those of us that have been bullied need to speak up. People need to support one another.